Wednesday, January 23, 2013

January Snapshot

Despite another coating of snow this morning, today is back to business as usual in Aberdeen. Sam has been walked, and Bailey has been jogged. Bailey has also used her backyard time as an opportunity to sneak into the neighbor’s garden.
Such a prankster! 
The roads are still pretty treacherous out there so it’s still considered a ‘snow day’ in my book. However, today I have donned my pajamas and traded up for yoga clothes and instead of lounging by the fire I am hoping to get 90% of my weekly chores done by the time Jonathan gets home. My favorite ‘chore’ is blogging, so let’s get going so I can scratch something off of my to-do list. 

One of the pitfalls of snow days is that I don’t gather any interesting information or experiences to blog about. Since I don’t want this to be blog post # 5 about how magical it is to watch the snow spiral down to the ground while I sip my hot cuppa tea, I figured I’d revisit the ‘snapshot’ idea and give you a quick glimpse into our lives right now. 

Reading: I just finished Book 2 of the Game of Thrones series. 
I feel like when you finish a 1000 page novel, you should be given a medal. I can’t believe there are 5 of those bad boys left. 

Yesterday I started The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. 
Wowza. I’m only about 75 pages in, but it is so stinkin good. I’m actually praying for more snow days so that I have an excuse to read for hours on end. Gosh I love when I fall head over heels for a book like this! 

The premise is a couple who live alone on an isolated island off the coast of Australia who are unable to have children. One day a boat washes ashore with a dead man and a live infant. The novel follows their decision to keep the baby and the implications of that back on the mainland. Not only is the plot gripping, but the prose is absolutely gut-wrenchingly beautiful. 

Watching: ‘Breaking Bad’ season 2, which is a bit dark, so when it all gets a bit too heavy we lighten up the mood with episodes of ‘Raising Hope’. Have you seen this show? 
It always looked a bit goofy to me but it is slap-your-knee hilarious. Yes, the characters are a bit extreme, but it is such a cute show and perfect for a bit of comic relief. 

Listening to: Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors. Good old Southern folk music is getting me pumped up for my upcoming travels to the US.  This song is probably the best song ever written in the history of ever. And if you replace the word ‘Tennessee’ with ‘Louisiana’, it could be my expat anthem.
“No matter how far I roam, I always belong.” Love!

Loathing: Being cold inside my house. Heating is ridiculously expensive in Scotland. Like 250 bucks a month, and that’s only if you run your heating for a few hours a day. Since all of the homes run off of radiator heat, it’s not the most efficient warming mechanism. So basically we are paying out the wazoo and yet we are still freezing cold and have to supplement with space heaters and our fireplace. Brrrr. 
Loving: Afternoon tea time. It’s tradition that Brits take a time out from their day around 3 pm to have a cuppa tea and a light snack, usually consisting of biscuits (cookies). I have been diligently following this social custom and welcome that comforting landmark in my day.  
Plus I just discovered Chai tea and am questioning how I've lived this long without it. Brew it up in some piping hot milk and suddenly hot cocoa has some competition for my go-to comfort beverage. Seriously yummy! 

Missing: Warm weather. I never thought I’d be homesick for Houston, but there is something to be said for mild winters.
Of course, I’d still take a mild summer/harsh winter over a mild winter/harsh summer anyday. Luckily I will be out of Scotland for 2 weeks in February and then again in March, so I’ve only got about 4 weeks of winter left to endure before springtime shows up. 

Craving: King Cake. I can’t wait to have some of this Mardi Gras treat while I’m in Louisiana! I sure would love a chocolate filled one from Meches (*** hint, hint Mom and Dad***).

Praying: For my grandpa Lee as he continues his recovery. He’s doing really well and looks like his old self again. My dad sent me this picture of him using a smartphone to catch up on my blog. 
Thank you for all of your prayers! 

Studying: I’m still studying the book of James through Beth Moore’s Mercy Triumphs study. It’s mega convicting and is reminding me that faith is not enough. I need to act out my Christianity by serving others. I feel like sometimes I live such a small life without much of an influence outside of my inner circle. As a chronically shy introvert, it’s a bit intimidating to try to live outside of that very comfortable social net. 

I’m slowly coming around though and have been doing some research and praying hard for God to reveal a calling for me that helps me to live out my faith more actively. The whole second Chapter of James is mighty convicting, but the story of Abraham always speaks to my heart:  

James 2:21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”[e] and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

Learning: The British rules of the road. The UK is full of detailed driving laws that are going to take an awful long time to memorize. I’m supposed to pass my driving test by May 6. I’ve got a lot of learning to do before then! 
Snacking: On Border’s Biscuits (cookies). It’s my go-to teatime snack. And  overall I’m not snacking as much as I am drinking hot tea all day long. I probably have 10 different varieties that I sample throughout the day. It helps to keep me warm in my chilly house. 

Planning: My trip back home. Right now the plan is to spend a few days in Houston shopping and taking care of doctors/dentists/beautician appointments, before heading to Louisiana to visit family and friends. It just so happens that our trip falls over Mardi Gras, which adds a bit of fun but also complicates the whole ‘driving to New Orleans to visit friends’ plan I had in my head. It’s just a quick two week trip and will hopefully be a bit more laid back than our October homecoming last year. 

Dreaming: of a house in the States.
When we moved to Scotland, we planned to return to the States once a year. However, Jonathan’s job is giving him opportunities to travel back quite a bit. Since I’m not working and have no kiddos, it seems silly for me not to tag along on these work trips. But it stresses me out to have to encroach on others' hospitality, especially when I’m shopping like a maniac and have my stuff scattered everywhere. We’ve talked about investing in a place in Houston, but we just aren’t ready to take the plunge. If we move to a hardship location, we will probably move forward in this direction, but for now we are bunking up with friends and family, crashing on couches and borrowing cars. First world problems...

Well that’s a snapshot of my life lately. What’s going on with you? I’d love to hear what you're reading, listening to, and dreaming of!


  1. Reading book of James and working on Bible Study. Also trying to finish The Queens Fool. Will try your new book The Light Between Oceans as it souns wonderful. Dreaming of seeing you soon. Will have chocolate meches in hand. Got started with P90X yoga today. It just about killed me.

  2. I love the idea of adopting British tea time! I need to back in your archives and find out what brought you to Scotland. My husband and I still have a year and a half before coming over, but we're super excited already! Happy planning!

  3. I dreaming of a Meches King cake as well, cream cheese and raspberry filled pleaseeeee!!! A gaint cinnamon donut filled with cream cheese and raspberry topped with frosting and sprinkles how can you go wrong :)

  4. Reading major pettigrew's last stand. A delightful, easy read. Listening to the blues station on spotify playing all my deep southern favorites. Dreaming of clean air away from the smog of the valley... and choreographing again

    Xoxo stay warm